Elitism and libertarianism

For several years I was a council member and Director of Cultural Affairs of the former Libertarian Alliance, until its dissolution in June 2017. I continue to identify with many aspects of paleolibertarianism and with the Libertarian Alliance as that body was latterly constituted. However, the following quotation summarizes where I stand today regarding libertarianism in more general terms, particularly given the considerable changes in the British libertarian movement during the past decade:

“I was very much an ardent libertarian, free-market doctrinaire. But gradually I came to realize that those around me with similar views were very much unlike me personally. They were plebean populists. No appreciation for elitism, social hierarchy, and culture and tradition. They wanted to elevate the lowest among us through the medium of unregulated markets. I began to abhor this philosophy and no longer associate myself with it. I have come to appreciate that I am an elitist, through and through.”

The link in the paragraph above is to Sir Roger Scruton’s address “In Defense of Elitism”, the most significant passage of which is the following,

“A culture that is based in knowledge and in the distinction between real knowledge and mere opinion…[is] there because it’s been bequeathed to us by people who made sacrifices in order that it should occur. And we I think should learn to honour those sacrifices and to do our part in passing on these institutions and traditions in our turn. That doesn’t mean that we have to accept everything about them. We have to, on the contrary, make our own living contributions to them. And they have to be amended in lots of ways. But I think, above all, we have to keep alive the collective memory of what we are as a people. That doesn’t reduce to merely what the majority of people presently happen to want.”